Gavilan College

Course                                   Econ 14/ GBUS 14- Personal Finance

Instructor                              Chris Zilg



Office Hours                         11:05 -  11:35am   S or by arrangement

Phone                                     408-855-5567 X5835


Semester                                Spring 2007, Section #6520

Room                                      MHG12

Time                                       8:00am – 11:05am    Saturday


Materials Required              Personal Finance: An Integrated Planning Approach

By Bernard J. Winder & Ralph R. Frasca. 7th Edition

(ISBN 0-13-185619-7)




We will be using the Online learning Center that comes with new textbook. If you buy a used book, you must purchase a new Access Code Code (ISBN: 0-13-187255-9). You can order the access code card online by logging on to and entering the access code card ISBN (0-13-187255-9) in the search bar located at the top of the page.


Course Description

This course is designed to assist individuals to analyze their financial affairs for lifelong decision making. Elements and concepts of financial planning and decision making in the areas of budgeting, taxes, borrowing, money management, insurance, investments, retirement, and estate planning will be examined. This course is also listed as ECON 14. This course has the option of a letter grade or credit/no credit.


Student Learning Outcomes

First, students will understand the importance of planning and have a basic understanding of planning techniques; and second, to develop students’ abilities to think critically and to make effective decisions.


Grading                                  Your letter grade will be assigned based upon the following percentages:

90% or higher…..A

80-89%................   B

70-79%................   C

60-69%................   D

Less than 60%.....F


3 Tests (50 points each)


150 points

Case Study Assignments (1)


  50 points

Homework: Chapter Review Exercises (15)


  75 points

Class Attendance & Participation  


  40 points

Understanding Class Syllabus


    5 points



    320 points




Textbook Website:

The publisher has created a web site that includes online study guide, practice quizzes and articles.




Required Study Hours

In order to be successful in this class, students need to allocate at least 4 hours of study time outside the classroom per week.




Each test is based on the main concepts in the text. Tests consist of multiple-choice questions and short answer problems.


Please bring Scranton form 882 for the test. Your Scranton must be labeled with your name, the test number, and the version of the test taken. A Scranton that is not properly labeled receives zero points. Students are required to return Scranton, and scratch paper at the end of each test. Students will receive zero points for the test if the questions, Scranton, and scratch paper are not returned at the end of test. 


Tests are planned for the dates noted on the calendar and will be given at the beginning of the class session.




The best way to prepare for the tests is to read each chapter in your text and to complete the questions in the back of the chapters. Also, you can test your understanding of each chapter by taking a sample quizzes.



  1. Go to



Case Study

Choose two chapter exercises on the Steele Family. Write a response that addresses the questions as outlined at the end of each chapter. Minimum two pages double – spaced. Your paper should be free of any grammatical and spelling errors.


Do not retype the case.



Case Study #1:  Due May 5th



No late assignments will be accepted.


Homework: Chapter Review Exercises

I believe you will be successful in the course if you complete the homework assignments prior to the class in which they are discussed. Late homework will be decremented by one letter grade for each day it is late. In other words, if your homework is two days late the best grade you can receive is a “C”. Incomplete homework receives partial credit. All homework must be submitted in class or by e-mail. Multiple choice review exercises and/or short essays will be given each week that cover the reading assignment.


Class Attendance & Participation

Students are also evaluated based upon their contribution to class discussions. Contributions should reflect the extent to which a student has studied the chapter under discussion in advance and has completed the related homework assignments. Maintaining an attitude conducive to proper classroom learning is required.

You may lose some or all of class participation points for having more than three absences or tardiness.





Understanding Class Syllabus Quiz

Read the syllabus at least three times over the period of a week. Most problems arise from students ignoring or missing information included in the syllabus. To prevent this, I have designed a quiz called “Understanding Class Syllabus” which will be given at the beginning of the class session

on February 10th.



Academic Honor Code (Education Code Section 66300,AP5500)

Gavilan College assumes that students will pursue their studies with integrity and honesty; however, if students are caught cheating or plagiarizing, a process will be followed that may result in severe consequences. Refer to the college catalog for an expanded explanation of this process.


Definition of Plagiarism: To plagiarize is to “steal and use (the ideas or writings of another) as one’s own.” (American Heritage Dictionary of the Engish Language. 1975). You are committing plagiarism if you:


  • Copy phrases, sentences, or passages from electronic print or print sources (journal articles, the etc.) into your papers and reports without giving credit by citing the original source.
  • Use someone else’s specific ideas even if you restate them in your own words.
  • Citing your sources properly helps you avoid plagiarism


Emergency Procedures

It is the student’s responsibility to know the evacuation procedures, evacuation route, and assembly area for this classroom. In case of an emergency, you are to follow the directions of your instructor. When directed to evacuate the classroom, be sure to take all of your belongings when you leave and remain with your class in the assembly area until you receive further directions.


Student Responsibilities

Cell phones, pagers and iPods are not allowed in this class. Students who want to take this class Credit/No Credit must e-mail the instructor with their request by March 2, 2007. If you choose to drop this course, YOU must turn in a drop slip to Admission and Records.  Last day to drop with a “W” is April 27, 2007.


Smoke Free Campus Statement( Education Code BP 6500)

In accordance with the Statutes of the State of California (AB 846, Chapter 342), Gavilan College establishes a smoke-free campus.


Disability Statement (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Complaince)

Gavilan College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Student should notify Disabled Student’s Programs and Services Department (408) 848-4865 or the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services for assistance. Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs.


Unlawful Discrimination/Sexual Harassment (Education Code sections 212.5, 66252, 66281.5)

The District is committed to providing an academic and work environment that respects the dignity of individuals and groups. The District shall be free of sexual harassment and all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation.


Title VI, Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504/508

To file complaints in the following areas please contact the Equal Opportunity Officer, Joseph D. Keeler, Vice President of Administrative Services, HR 101 (408-848-4715).


The areas are:


  • Civil rights complaints  (Title VI)
  • Gender equity, sex discrimination/harassment complaints (Title IX)
  • Persons with disabilities discrimination complaints (ADA/Section 504/508)


Class Calendar

Spring 2007

Personal Finance


Date                        Topics

2/3                           Class begins: Syllabus Review

                                Start Chapter 1: “The Basic Framework”


2/10                         Understanding Class Syllabus Quiz – At the beginning of class session

Chapter 1: “The Basic Framework”

Chapter 2: “The Time Value of Money” Pg. 31 – 37

Chapter 3: “Financial Statements and Budgets: Where are you now and Where are you


Chapter 1 & 2: Homework Due


2/14                         Last Day to drop with a refund.


2/17                         Presidents’ Day Instructional Break (School Holiday)



2/24                         Case Study Chapters are selected by the Students: Steele Family

Chapter 3: “Financial Statements and Budgets: Where are you now and Where are you


Chapter 4: “Taxes: The Government’s Share of your Rewards”

Chapter 3 & 4: Homework Due


3/2                           “No Record Shown”… If you drop by this date it doesn’t appear on the student’s

                                permanent record.


3/2                           Deadline for Grading Option. Cr/NC/Letter Grade


3/3                           Chapter 5: “Cash: Management Funds for Immediate Needs”

                                Chapter 6: “Short-Term Credit Management: Consumer Credit”

Chapter 5: Homework Due


3/10                         Chapter 6: “Ethical Issues in Business”

                                Preparation Review for Test 1#: Chapter 1-6

                                Chapter 6: Homework Due


3/17                         Test Chapter 1-6: Test will be from 8:00am – 9:30am

                                Chapter 7: “Consumer Durables: The Personal Auto”


3/24                         Review Test # 1

                                Chapter 7: “Consumer Durables: The Personal Auto”

                                Chapter 8: “Housing: The Cost of Shelter”

                                Chapter 7: Homework Due


3/31                         Chapter 8: “Housing: The Cost of Shelter”

                                Chapter 9: “Financial Markets and Institutions: Learning the Investment Environment

                                Chapter 8 & 9: Homework Due                         


4/7                           Chapter 10: “Investment Basics: Understanding Risk & Return”

Chapter 11: “Stock and Bonds: Your Most Common Investments” (Omit pg 276-281)

                                Chapter 10 & 11: Homework Due




Date                        Topics


4/14                         Chapter 12: “Mutual Funds and Other Pooling Arrangements: Simplifying and (Maybe)

                                Improving Your Investment Performance”

                                Preparation Review for Test #2: Chapter 7-12

                                Chapter 12: Homework Due


4/21                         Test Chapter 7-12: Test will be from 8:00am – 9:30am

                                Chapter 13: “Property and Liability Insurance: Protecting Your Lifestyle Assets”


4/27                         “W” Deadline: Courses dropped by this date will appear on the student’s permanent record with a notation of “W” for withdrawn.


4/28                         Review Test #2

Chapter 13: “Property and Liability Insurance: Protecting Your Lifestyle Assets”

Chapter 14: “Health Care and Disability Insurance: Protecting Your Earning Capacity”

Chapter 13: Homework Due


5/5                           Chapter 14: “Health Care and Disability Insurance: Protecting Your Earning Capacity”

                                Chapter 15: “Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Dependents

                                Case Study #1:  Due May 5th

                                Chapter 14 & 15: Homework Due                     


5/12                         Chapter 16: “Retirement Planning: Planning for Your Long-Term Needs”

                                Preparation Review for Test #2: Chapter 7-12

Chapter 16: Homework Due



5/19                         Test Chapter 13-16